Urgent need for social housing in Athy

Briefing on successful project

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Urgent need for social housing in Athy

Athy councillor Mark Wall has welcomed the news that Kildare County Council will meet with O Cualann Cohousing Alliance in the coming weeks to discuss their affordable housing scheme which is currently up and running in Dublin.

Speaking following his motion to council on the need for affordable housing, Cllr Wall said he had received a presentation from O Cualann.

The Alliance have being able to provide two-bed houses starting at €140k, with three-beds for €160k, and four-beds €199k in an estate of 49 homes, 30% below market value.

Single buyers qualifying for the scheme must have an income €59,000 or less and couples a combined income of less than €79,000. The land owned by Dublin City council was sold to
the housing Alliance at a substantially lower market value an development levies were
waived by the Council. Cllr Wall said there is a growing crisis in this County for working people and couples.

"Because of the low qualifying limits for HAP (Housing Assisted Payments formerly rent
Allowance ) and or Social Housing in the region of a maximum income of €36,000, many
individuals and couples cannot get onto the social housing ladder. Instead they face growing
private rental charges that are spiralling out of their reach. We have banks of Council land, almost in every town and village in this county and in the absence of a National affording housing scheme  we are promised one soon, we must look at other Affordable models. The Cualann one can provide for those that are working but find the growing majority of their income is spent on a house that they will never own. I'm informed following the meeting that efforts have begun in parts of the County to set up Affordable schemes and I will support those and help any new schemes that want to begin building new communities within our County."